As always, I am actively trying to make sure my list is representative of kids in the UK today, and am actively looking for and prioritising work by creators from backgrounds underrepresented in publishing, whether that's ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, class, or otherwise
Illustrated fiction and graphic novels! These are (obvs) forms rather than genres, so I am open to them across every age group. I love the interplay between words and art and want to see people push the boundaries here. We shouldn't have to give up pictures when we grow up!
Teen action/adventure! I didn't know I wanted this until I lost out on one... and now I'm desperate for one and I can't find it! I'd love something that sits in the Alex Rider space, with genuine heart-in-your-mouth danger.
MG fantasy! Big worlds, high stakes, do-or-die moments and tons of peril. I would love something here that feels incredibly ambitious and cinematic, with a core gang of characters I'd dying to be part of.
Romantasy! Crackling chemistry, sexy heroes, bad-ass heroines. I like my banter flirty and in all honesty, I love an arrogant dickhead romantic lead. If the magic is unusual or in some way dangerous, that's an extra plus!
I'd really love to find a shiny new gem of an author before the end of the year, please! Nothing gives me a thrill like that just-found-something feeling and I miss it. Open to almost everything but I'm particularly looking for the following:
My DMs are open if you have questions about the submission process, but please don't pitch there. If you think I might like it, just send it over. I read everything I'm sent and aim to get back within 10 weeks.
Almost all my clients are up on our website (with the exception of deals that haven't been announced yet!) so you can take a look and see where my tastes lie. And if you've written something that might be a good fit, my submission guidelines are there too!
All of the above could come in any age range or genre, from 5+ up to cross-over YA. I'm not really looking to expand my PB list at the moment, but I would potentially take on something very funny with a strong series character.
Although my tastes are eclectic, certain things show up in lots of the books I work on:
Angry girls and sensitive boys
Mysteries, murders and conspiracies
Fantasy with an agenda
Opposites attract friendships
Finding your true self
Quick shoutout too to Unraveller by Frances Hardinge, which I loved with all my heart, but is a terrible example of the books I'd take on. Just shows that your work tastes and your heart tastes can be slightly different.
Some books I read and loved (and wish I represented) last year:
Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Jamie by L D Lapinski
Onyeka by Tola Okogwu
Kitty Quest by Phil Corbett
Loki by Louie Stowell
Heartstopper by Alice Osman
The Inheritance Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I'll always prioritise authors from backgrounds that are underrepresented in publishing - and you don't need to be writing an 'issues' book for me to want to centre your characters and your story. Every kid deserves to see themselves in every type of book.
I love properly commercial books, and when I read submissions I try to picture the kid reader rather than the adult editor. I've got lots of time for slapstick and silliness - particularly if there's a sly cleverness underneath.
I’m open to ANY book written for a child reader, fiction or non-fiction, any age group - and my tastes will always lean towards the loud, the commercial, and the zeitgeisty. If you’re saying something new, I want to help you say it louder!
As always, across everywhere in my list I’m particularly prioritising and actively looking for creators who identify as underrepresented in publishing. My list is extremely commercial and I want to prove that these voices aren’t niche - they’re commercial too.